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Archive for the ‘house’ Category

the weekend, and my longest ride

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

Friday
This weekend started earlyish — Katie was sick at the end of the day at school on Thursday, but well enough that she needed something to do on Friday, so my dad came down and the three of us went to see Monsters University. She was great, but extremely lethargic (and additionally, it was HOT) and not as communicative with Grandpa as I think any of us would have liked. We had frozen yogurt after the movie, and stopped by Pier One to buy kites for the summer (K: butterfly, and then she picked a dragon for M). She was well enough to still attend Parent’s Night Out, so we dropped her back at school with Max and then went and had the most amazing dinner at John Bentley’s in Redwood City. (GO THERE.) Everything we ate/drank was delicious and we both stuffed ourselves, had a great waiter, and met the chef himself.

Yay!

Saturday
Saturday was ridiculously hot, so after gymnastics (where Max had a meltdown and wouldn’t really DO gymnastics until halfway through, preferring to be my little barnacle), we headed home and immediately brought out all the water-related toys/pools. Ava/Shane and their little monkeys showed up and we all just hung out while the kids played in the water and we eventually ate bbq and had lots of popsicles. After lunch, they left, and Max napped while I hung outside with Katie, where I accidentally fell asleep with her in the hammock — total heaven. I woke up because I ended up sunburning my foot, took her inside, and realized I’d sunburnt my shoulders, too. We ate dinner and then went out for frozen-yogurt-in-jammies. The day was essentially fantastic.

Sunday
Sunday morning, we started out by meeting our new babysitter Tara, and then headed out for a bike ride sans kids. We started out by driving to La Honda via the twisties, which left me slightly nauseated (per my usual). I needed to go change some of my biking gear, so I walked up to the general store and greeted the dogs at the front door. The guy who worked there told me their names and I asked him if I could use his facilities, which he declined and pointed me at a restaurant down the road, so I responded, “Oh, I just wanted to change, I’ll go do it in the car — I’m not THAT shy.” His reply? “Well, if you’re not that shy, maybe I can help you.” External response: “Aww.” Internal response: “Ew.”

I hadn’t eaten anything at this point, and pretty much four miles into the ride I was complaining of hunger to Brandon and expressing the wish that I could somehow reach into my pack and pull out the bear claw I had there. Instead, I decided to try drafting — which funnily I’ve done before without realizing, I just thought that the person in front of me was suddenly slowing down when I got close which is why riding was so much easier. Brandon was obviously holding back so I could keep up, and when we got to San Gregorio market I nearly threw my backpack off to attack my pastry. (I had been drinking some Cytomax water to try to stave off the hunger but that didn’t do much.) At the market we ran into our neighbor, who owns a local cycling shop, and his son and their riding group, and they seemed excited that I was going to try go to up Stage Road — a cat 4 hill (I don’t normally ride hills with ratings).

It was on this hill that I realized that it’s extremely different for me, riding alone vs riding with someone. Usually I listen to a podcast and focus on a fixed point in front of me and space out while I do any “work”. In this case, I was concentrating on my own riding, where Brandon was in comparison to me (we had to work on this — I’ll describe later), Brandon talking to me, the people passing me (including neighbor guy), and the feeling I had that B was holding back. I was breathing pretty hard by the time we got to the top but not feeling awful.

We headed down the coast, where I could tell that that last hill had hit me hard, and that I was probably not having a “peak physical” day, because nearly every rolly hill felt harder than I felt it should have. We stopped to take some pics together, and Brandon was complimenting me on how well I was doing. Then he said something very… interesting: “I’m so glad I could do this with you and take a rest day!” Seriously? Seriously, sir? I’m busting my ass and you’re cycling circles around me and then you want to go and rub it in by making a comment about how easy this is for you?

Seriously, my husband, folks. Sometimes he’s not the brightest. ;P

So we did this loop down the coast and back up to Pescadero, where we had lunch. We talked to a bunch of folk there and this one girl was telling me about how she didn’t want to ride up Stage Road and I was thinking, all smart-like, “Oh hey, I already did that, HA! Hard part is DONE!”

Except it wasn’t, and going up Stage Road’s longer second cat 4 was long and torturous, and when I get tired I tend to ride swervy, and Brandon kept riding to the left of my back tire, so on top of the mental work I was doing already, I was getting really frustrated because I felt like I had to do more work to avoid hitting him (in reality there was no chance I was going to hit him, he would have easily moved). So — I asked him to move either ahead of or behind me, and that helped a great deal. :) We were passed by a ton of motorcyclists, and I had to stop at one point because he started talking to me and I couldn’t hear him well so I just stopped. I gave myself a minute to compose and hit the top of the hill with no problem.

Coming down the other side, we nearly careened into a truck that turned across both lanes as it came onto the road; I braked hard and my back tire skidded around a bit, and B flew by me and then off the road a little but neither of us crashed into each other or the truck, which was awesome. We made it back to the main road and I started at this point to stress seriously because I knew what time it was, and when we had to be home by (we’d already called the babysitter for an extension), so finally, as we headed on back up towards La Honda, I yelled at B to stop waiting for me and to just hit it and get to the truck and get his stuff loaded.

I would then classify the rest of this ride as “ow ow ow ow ow”. My back hurt because I have terrible posture while riding. My hips hurt because they don’t often do this sort of work. My shoulder hurt because I do a lot of pulling on my handlebars when I ride. I was happy that I’d already made this my longest ride ever, but I was continually surprised that I wasn’t there yet, and then suddenly I came to the intersection of La Honda Road and 84 and I didn’t know which way to go and then suddenly B was there! So I crossed the street and gave him my bike and fell into the truck and was too tired to do anything, even get carsick.

We got home and I talked to the babysitter for a bit about how the kids behaved (Katie told her that she was going to tell me that she couldn’t babysit for us anymore when the babysitter made her pick up trash she’d thrown on the floor and put it into the trash can — gasp!); they had spent their day in the hot tub, the kiddie pool, and trying to be cool indoors. I helped prepare the kids to go out to the block party with B, then threw myself in the shower and got my tush down there. I LIVE IN THE BEST NEIGHBORHOOD. We had a taco truck, bounce house, and people brought drinks and desserts; there were water tables and normal tables and TONS of kids and then the fire department showed up with two different rigs (a big truck and a smaller one) for the kids to climb over. (The firemen there had literally just come from putting out a brush fire. And, they were the most patient and understanding people, giving into Katie’s assorted requests for the lights and siren, etc.) It was pretty nice because I could space out and be tired and the kids were occupied and running around — most miraculously Max, because he hadn’t had a nap (and he made it through to bedtime, when he fell asleep on Brandon on the sofa). Katie had some “interactions” with neighborhood kids which led to a meltdown (I attribute this to being overtired and extremely hot) but she recovered.

Anyway. This weekend was hot as heck but really awesome. Yay! I especially liked all the quality family time, and the husbandly/wifely time.

Here’s Brandon’s post, including lots of pics of me making faces and slouching.

save that pup!

Monday, June 17th, 2013

On Friday, as I was saying goodbye to Brandon and the kiddos on their way to school, I heard a high-pitched barking — higher than my own pups’, but coming from nearby. As I stood there outside our fence, this little dog barreled up to me, from inside our yard. I picked her up and looked at her collar, asking where she came from. (Shock: she did not answer me but tried to lick my face.) In the meantime, Katie and Max were asking, “WHO IS THAT DOG?” from inside the truck. I let them each say hi while Brandon left a message at the number on her collar, and then I started canvassing the neighborhood, assuming that she came from a yard connected to ours.

The first person I asked was the crossing guard on duty, on the off chance that the dog belonged to a parent of a kiddo and that he recognized her. Then I started knocking on the doors of each house on the street, but no one answered. A man approached me as I was walking and asked me if the dog’s name was Roxy, but when I told her it was Bella, he indicated the house he lived in and said that she belonged to one of the houses that I already tried. So, I called the number again, and spent a good 5 minutes banging on the front door, as I saw a little dog inside barking its fool head off at me.

Finally I decided that this warranted some lightweight trespassing, and I went into the back yard, where I quickly a) ascertained that their yard abuts ours; b) that there was a little hole under their fence; and c) that they had a doggy door. I called the inside dog over via the door and checked his collar, and it turned out that it had the same number as Bella’s — success! I called the number again and told them I was dropping their doggy off and to call me when they’d heard the series of messages

This was around 8 am. I finally got a return call at 6 pm, when she’d finally listened to the calls (and was at home). Um. If my dog was missing, I would want to know RIGHT THEN, so putting a phone number on his collar that I don’t answer is sort of unbelievable to me. And lest we think this was a one-off, yesterday, both of their dogs ended up in my yard again (apparently they didn’t board up the hole I told them about), and I called them, and they didn’t answer, so we dropped their dogs back off and they still haven’t called me back. (We boarded up the hole on our side more strongly).

Please, when choosing a number to put on your pets’ collars, make it one that you attend frequently, on the off chance your animal somehow escapes unbeknownst to you and someone is trying to return it.

new year’s, getting older

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

New Year’s Eve Day was spent with Katie and I hitting the mall to return something and gather cupcakes for me, and her getting a little chocolate milk at McDonald’s. We had lots of hugs and love while we were out, which made my heart swell.


Nom nom nom


In the meantime…

New Year’s Eve, when you have two short, young people in your life, is rarely an exciting event. Since they don’t understand the concept of sleeping in, I’m somewhat loathe to stay up late just to ring it in because I know I’ll not only be awake a few times that night, but I will also be up bright and early at 6am!

That said, little Max is teething, so while he went to bed at his normal time (and Katie stayed up until 9ish before she needed to hit the hay), he was awake and happy to ring in the new year.


Sleepy, teething kiddo is cute.

The next day was supposed to be Fake Christmas with my family, but my mom caught this killer cold that seems to hang around for over a week, and since I have more negative PTO than is reasonable for a human being (thank you family reunion near the start of a new job), I can’t afford to take time off. Instead, Elyssa came over (visiting from Philly) and we hung out in the back yard for the whole day. The weather was amazing and the kids were really awesomely behaved, except for one moment of Almost Death: Max pushed Katie up on the lawn so she pushed him back, but since he was standing at the top of the stairs, he started falling — and was only saved by B snatching him as he toppled. Had he actually fallen, there is absolutely no doubt that he would have either been hospitalized or possibly killed.

So, yeah, that put a damper on things.


#occupybackyard

Apparently hanging out in the hot tub kicked K’s butt because she was supposed to have timeout for not listening that night (5:30ish) and asked that it be in her room. Three minutes later she was SACKED OUT. Finally I decided to try to rouse her… she was incredibly adorable as she’d pulled her comforter over her head so her cheeks were rosy and her eyes would barely open. I tried to put a pull-up on her and she literally FELL APART and had a crazy tantrum. (I learned from this experience, as we shall see!) Eventually she was up, had some crackers, and went back to bed at a more appropriate (for her) time.

Monday was a federal holiday for MY BIRTHDAY! Woot woot.
All in all, the day was a little more stressful than I would have liked, but it was great having a couple of friends over and further enjoying our yard. I honestly can’t wait for warmer weather because I don’t see us spending much time at all indoors now that we have a pretty awesome outdoor area to enjoy (although we still need a few things like umbrellas, some more furniture, and we need to get the play structure for the kids in order — a friend is giving us theirs). Katie again was sacked out by her time in the hot tub, and fell asleep on Daddy while we were INCREDIBLY LOUD AROUND HER.


Her head was wet and she had been laying the other way on B, hence the wet mark on his shirt.

This time we learned our lesson. Happily, she was ready for bed, so we plopped her in at 6 … and she woke up cheery at 8 and didn’t go to sleep until 11. :)

Here are some new year’s resolutions from me:
– work on my patience as a parent and a spouse
– make a definitive decision on 3 kids vs 2 (I had some pseudo-epiphany in the hot tub last night that made me realize I’m not ready to say no yet, at least on an emotional level)
– try to up the cleanliness threshold in our house
– institute some sort of screen-time rule for the kids
– work on weaning Max from the paci at 2 as well as getting the kid to, you know, sleep
– loving kindness!

yay!!!!

Monday, December 5th, 2011

"just because" flowers are awesome

Brandon came by to have lunch with me today and brought me roses to help make up for our less-than-stellar weekend (external influences, not because of our kids or anything).

My hub rocks!

this is the part of the remodel I can get behind…

Friday, November 11th, 2011

To quote B’s FB:
“For my birthday/anniversary, I got to put in the nice grill and kitchen features I wanted in our outdoor kitchen. For Alison’s birthday/Christmas she gets a hot tub. Note: This is still the same remodel, and our birthdays are 4.5 months apart.”

Ignoring the part that I gave him an XBox 360 as a birthday present, here’s what I’ll be doing tonight:
IMG_5196.jpg

different things that happened

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

Here are some things that happened over the weekend:

– On Saturday, the contractors poured concrete into some of the huge gaping maw holes in our backyard. As part of redoing our retaining walls, they dug holes for these huge steel beams to go down — one was 16ft into the ground, meaning that if a child or animal (both would have fit) fell into it they would have effectively been lost forever. Suffice it to say that B and I kept our kiddos and pups well away from both. So, they put the steel in and then poured concrete around it, and we all went out to look at what was going on and talk to one of the guys when suddenly Katie decided to try to stand on the (wet) concrete and almost lost her shoe as she immediately sank in. I was holding Max, and Brandon wasn’t looking down, but thankfully the guy we were talking to yanked her up immediately and we rinsed off the concrete before it started burning her skin. Scary nonetheless!

– I had about a billion hilarious conversations with my extremely precocious child. One of my favorite parts of the weekend was when she played dress-up — first she opted to pretend to be a tiger, so she grabbed her Halloween costume from last year (which still fits) and roared at us for a while. Then I got her to dress up as a fire fighter and she ran around in circles pretending to be a truck with a siren.

– Max has developed the most amazing, crazy loud, high-pitched shriek I have ever heard. I remember when Katie started shrieking and this is at least 10 times louder — he full-on screams his little heart out in happiness and it’s SO HIGH-PITCHED AND LOUD. He did it directly in my ear at one point and I am still suffering residual hearing loss.

– Max had his first confirmed night-terror, waking up scream-crying. He slept okay after that but I felt awful for my smileybean. :(

– We had an awesome afternoon at our friends’ house, and they offered us the use of their pool and house for K/M’s birthday party. This means that I can have a bbq and enjoy their nice pool instead of using the swim school, which is amazing, and so generous of them to offer.

– On Sunday we hit the local elementary school to ride bikes (well, to watch K ride hers) and I met some of our neighbors. They have kids who are older than K, and I was talking to them about a another family who was moving out and gave Katie their Tinkerbell sleeping bag when they didn’t sell it at a garage sale. The mom then asked me if K liked Tink, and when I replied yes, they offered to give Katie their practically new Tinkerbell Cafe. They dropped it off on Monday while she was sleeping, so I set it up and then when she came out, I told her the paci fairy had visited and wanted to show that they are friends (I am trying very very hard to convince K that she should give the paci fairy her pacis) so she brought her a fairy present. When Katie turned around and saw it, it was like Christmas morning: “Oh WOW. That so PRETTY! That for me?” She played with it quite a bit before we had to leave the house, and asked me questions about all the different parts.

– Our neighbors had a neighborhood party yesterday and holy cow, there are a TON of little kids in our neighborhood. We had an awesome time, and I am happy our house is surrounded by so many likable people. I started a Y! group for us to plan playdates in, and we all exchanged email addys. :)

Pouring concrete on the weekend

Saturday, September 3rd, 2011



Pouring concrete on the weekend

Originally uploaded by alibee09


i’m here, really

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

I have a new job! And stuff to talk about like our really awesome anniversary dinner! And the fact that we’re doing crazy shit in the backyard!

Quick assessment:
Job: Awesomesauce.
Anniversary dinner: Dark awesomesauce.
Back yard: scarily expensive excitingpants.

More soon!

sleep, glorious sleep

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

We’ve had the same mattress since we moved in together in Madison, and for the past few months we’ve both been feeling its age. Because it’s a pillow-top, we could never do the kind of rotating that would really keep it from developing valleys that have ultimately caused both Brandon and I to wake up in pain virtually every morning; additionally, I’ve changed how I sleep since having Max (mainly because we co-sleep right now), so what was comfy once isn’t working so well for me lately.

Anyway, Brandon and I have very different demands from a bed. He wants something much, much firmer than I do, which led us to look into a Sleep Number bed because it is highly customizable. The price tag actually drove us away until we were told that they were ending a promotion on the 23rd and selling all the floor models as a result (with new covers). This meant that we could get the highest-end mattress for half the cost. BAM! We were there! Brandon had to drive to Modesto to pick it up because they didn’t have any king size beds around here, but after our first night on the thing, I gotta say DANG IS THIS BABY COMFY. I will continue to update with my findings but last night I enjoyed a floaty night of comfort at sleep number 35 on my i10. And Max seemed to like it too :P

backyard redo, aka “more money down the drain”

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

We’ve been working on remodeling our back yard for probably 6 months now — we started a long, long time ago, because we knew we’d need to get engineering work done thanks to the fact that two of our retaining walls (that are 6-7′ tall) had failed. They were built in the 40s out of mortar and serpentine — something that is totally not allowable nowadays, which we planned on initially terracing but decided to instead replace with soldier-beam walls. On top of the failed walls, our yard was not usable as a play place for kids, and not really conducive to entertaining, which was becoming less and less okay as Katie and Max get older.

Anyway, I will get some pics up so you can see “before” and “during”, but we started demolition on Monday and things already look AMAZINGLY different. Most notably, they removed the 20′ wall of juniper that was the front hill. Since I’ve been home sick the past few days I got to hear comments from our neighbors — one guy drove by and stopped to tell me how much better it looked already, another honked and gave me a thumbs-up while pointing at the bare hill. We have a much better view from the front of our house now that the juniper is gone, and our yard is looking markedly bigger thanks to the removal of many of the trees (goodbye, cursed red bottlebrush!) and more juniper. They also took down the arbor attached to our shed and will be getting rid of the not-ever-used fiberglass greenhouse.

Katie’s highlight: seeing all the trees gone (“Where our trees go?”) and riding in the assorted machinery.

fun fun fun in the sun sun sun

Monday, July 11th, 2011

Weekend!

Friday was DATE NIGHT. OMG, I so needed it, too — after last weekend, in which Katie was possibly her most trying ever, I was completely run down. We hit up the Melting Pot (local awesome fondue joint) with Ava and Shane and we talked work and kids and it was just a great, great time. I am so happy to be friends with them. Brandon was a great date, too :) We ordered a house wine called Sexual Chocolate and made friends with the people who work there, as is our custom. Hopefully that made up for the fact that I showed up wearing a t-shirt and ripped jeans, because I am *that* classy.

Saturday started with Brandon hauling much wood from the back yard and Katie trying to help him. The dogs got groomed and Katie wore a new leotard to gym class, which was given to her as a gift by Taire:
Katie as a leopard ballerina
Her messy hair and expression make her look like a tarted up little urchin. Brandon said at one point that she looked like an old lady in a kid’s body — as in, this could be a grandma’s swimsuit. lol

We did our normal mac’n’cheese and ice cream lunch ritual and then headed home for K and M to take naps while B did more moving of wood (I’ll get to the whys of that in a minute) while I switched Max’s clothing from 9m to 12m. I find it surreal and bittersweet when my kids transition to new sizes, and now that Katie is in 3T and Max is in 12m I feel like they’re older than they really are. *sniff*

After naps, Katie and I went to go get the dogs from the groomer, and we also picked up some food for dinner. She really enjoyed being alone with me, but things started to unravel a bit when she decided to try to walk the dogs again. Caesar Milan would have a field day with our two, who pull and are endlessly horrible little beasts on leashes… meaning that Ash was yanking Katie all over the place, much like he did to her at the vet, when he dragged her and she ended up with a bloodied knee. (In my defense, I had shown her that he was going to do this to her inside, so she’d already been dragged across the linoleum, but she insisted on trying again outside and… well… yeah.) She ended up walking Nicky and talking about how Nicky was good, Ash was bad, and how Ash needed time out. She also showed me how to skip and trot like a horse.

We ended the day watching Bug’s Life, which K told me very earnestly was a little scary but that I’d be okay.

Sunday we went berry picking!
about to berry pick

K was SUPER stoked about it thanks to the episode about Caillou picking strawberries. She knew almost exactly what to do — she even read the sign to us: “No pick berries that are green. Pick red berries.” Max rode around on my back (he was developing a cold that he very sweetly gave to me because he loves me) and we all ran around for a while while Katie and Brandon did the dirty work of getting fruit off the vine.
berry picking!

I personally am anti-stawberry-picking after being tortured as a child with strawberry picking but I ate enough that I was happy with the ordeal. We also bought some jam and I made friends with the jam-making lady. Afterward, we stopped at a sweet local pub and had lunch and schmoozed with the friends who had also come along, then we headed home and played outside while Brandon hauled MORE wood.
hanging outside

Katie pissed Max off by dumping water on his head but they got over it, eventually.

Anyway, we are doing a HUGE demolition project of our back yard — removing the juniper and most of the plants and the existing patio and walls and creating new retaining walls ($$$) because the current walls have failed (they’re like, 40+ years old and made of big rocks mortarted together). We’ve been working on plans for this for months and months and we’ve started today, so Brandon wanted to get all the stuff outside that we wanted to save inside the garage (motorcycles x4, BBQ, toys, etc). One of the things that we had out there is a HUGE pile of firewood — I mean HUGE. The guy who lived here before was stockpiling like nobody’s business but I would rather burn Duraflames on the occasions that I want to start fires inside (better for the environment on both ends) so we rarely used any. So, B kept carting it to the front of the house and we put a notice on Freecycle so we gave away a few hundred dollars worth of wood (way better than sending it to landfill). AND we met some cool people, so it was awesome.

The bad part? B chipped a tooth. I don’t know how he managed it but I suspect he was gnawing on the wood.

jackhammering the baby out

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

I worked from home yesterday because we’re having a stem wall installed in our garage. Essentially, the garage is on a slab, and the living room, which was formerly the garage before the old owners expanded the house, is also on a slab, and they are level with each other, meaning that any run-off that comes into the garage could flow naturally towards the living room and do severe water damage. A stem wall goes between the two rooms, next to the connecting wall in the garage, to help that; also, we’re having it installed deep so that we can eventually bolt supports to it when we add a second story. (Now I must pause and imagine the day that we have enough money to do that… when I’m in my 70s…)

Anyway, I didn’t expect the LOUDNESS of the construction, nor the amount of cement dust I’d be inhaling as a result of Brandon accidentally leaving a window near the garage open and dust coming in under the door connecting the garage and the house. It was good that I was there, though, because the dogs were spazzing out for the initial part of the construction (until they got used to it). When I went to get lunch I was talking to the guys who were jackhammering and I pantomimed doing it myself, saying, “Hey, maybe I should try and see if this will shake the baby out.” They laughed. :)

I’ve been having intermittent contractions (and I mean really intermittent; although they’ve picked up, they’re still like, at least an hour apart) but constant BHs since Monday night. So, no news to report. I meant to find out if I was GBS+ at my last appointment but forgot to ask, so I’m going to follow up on that tomorrow; I’ve also been doing a bit of walking because it’s helping me feel better (oddly, considering the amount of pelvic pain I’ve had during this pregnancy). We’re still on the fence about whether or not B will be leaving to go to Colorado for his brother’s wedding on Friday night — we are DEFINITELY playing it by ear, but I think it’ll be determined by whether or not I spontaneously give birth today (meaning we’d be out of the hospital by the time he leaves) and what my OB says tomorrow.

Woot! 38w4

three months later

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

It’s been about three months since we were robbed. I’ve literally scoured CL and Ebay every single day since then to see if anything shows up; we’ve hit the pawn shops quite a few times.

Nothing.

It’s depressing, yo. I’ve had repeated dreams that my jewelry just “shows up”, which makes me feel good until I wake up to realize that my brain is just engaged in some wishful thinking.

a letter i will be dropping off this afternoon

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

Dear concerned neighbor,

This morning you fairly jumped in front of my car, waving your arms in what I later recognized was ostensibly an attempt to slow me down. I drive down this street daily, and I have been witness to the incredible speeds that people drive on it and understand your concern as someone who actually lives on said street. However, it might surprise you to note that I was actually going under the posted speed limit of 25 and speeding up to reach it. So, next time, before you give another pregnant mom a heart-attack by making her think she’s going to hit you or that you need emergency medical assistance, please have your in-brain radar detector calibrated correctly.

Thanks,
Woman in the silver compact SUV

Shutters!

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010



Shutters!

Originally uploaded by alibee09


Our new shutters are being installed… swank!

shows what I know

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

Okay, so the weather really is pretty bad. Our power was out this morning, which made waking up in time for the training that I have today a little harder (but I was saved by my darling little squawky alarm clock). Also, now that we have an on-demand hot water heater, there was no way to use the stored hot water to take a shower (waa, waa).

Our house has a generator, but we haven’t had time to look at it since we moved in to see if it works at all. Since tomorrow’s storm front is supposed to be worse (mainly because the barometric pressure is falling into the high 20s — the record lowest is somewhere around 28.8 (?) — meaning that it pulls all the nearby storms into the area), B is going to spend tonight trying to see if he can get it working.

That said, I LOVE THE RAIN. Love it!

trash talk, and the weekend

Monday, January 18th, 2010

I’m working on writing up a Yelp review for the guy who set our bathroom on fire. I’ve been sitting on it for a while because I didn’t want to be completely pissy and thus detract from my actual message of “holy shit, STAY AWAY.” However, we hired him because of Yelp, so I feel the need to make sure that people hear what happened. That said, I can’t decide: 1 or 2 stars?

We were chore MACHINES this weekend, and got a ton of stuff taken care of. We’re still barely moved in, but we are making strides to remedy that by buying a new entertainment unit — now we will have a place to unpack our billions of DVDs and video games into. We went the (ick) Ikea route for cheapness’s sake, which underscores two things to me:
– there are WAY TOO MANY pregnant women in Ikea
– I hate that place; it’s too crowded and they never have every part I need
I mean, we need 6 drawers and they only had three. Total fail, people. B and I had some bonding time while starting to build the main body of the unit, though, during which he kept bossing me around and then trying to squash his desire to be a bossy butt. :)

Ricky Gervais was amazing during the Golden Globes. He’s still got G-d status ’round these parts, pilgrims!

Katie can now identify her nose, ears, and bellybutton. She gives kisses when asked and is generally one of my favorite things on the planet. I try not to have my entire personality replaced by the insane amount of devotion I feel for her as her mom, but omg I love my kid and I love my husband for being such an amazing dad to her.

Also, HELLO CALIFORNIA, you’re used to rain! Suck it up! This reminds me of Wisconsinites freaking out every time it snowed, as if it were some new phenomenon.

get out of my wall!

Friday, January 15th, 2010

A couple of nights ago we had some hard rain, and I woke up in the middle of the night to a noise that sounded like someone walking around in our attic, or something hitting the roof. I was pretty delirious (since I rarely get more than 2-4 hours of sleep at a stretch anymore), and I actually convinced myself for a minute that it could have been Katie climbing and falling out of her crib, but it wasn’t. I mentioned it to Brandon the next morning but we saw no apparent roof damage so we promptly forgot about it.

Then, last night as I walked back into the kitchen after working on something in the office, Brandon looked at me and said, “You’re not in the attic?” We stopped for a minute and were soon rewarded with the pitter-patter of little feet — running ALL OVER the inside of the roof. Either we have rats, mice, or squirrels, and when they move, they are LOUD in their movement. I’ve never lived somewhere with rodents before so I’m torn — I love animals, but I don’t really love the idea of them pooping in our walls, so I have no idea what we should do about them.

If they’d only kept it a little more quiet, we never would have known!

mission accomplished!

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

I went to the old house today to check it out post-clean (we hired folk because there is no way we have time) and left the note in our lovely neighbor’s mailbox.

I’m sort of hoping there’s some way to find out what happens with it, but the only way that will happen is if anyone talks to them… and everyone hates them. So, eh.

Thanksgiving wrap-up

Thursday, November 26th, 2009

The good news: nobody has reported food-poisoning yet!

Hee hee. Honestly, according to Brandon, my turkey was “astounding” for a first attempt :) Everyone raved about both the moistness and the flavor, which made me really happy that I decided to brine that HUGE BIRD OF DOOM. I followed the Alton Brown roast turkey recipe, but I started brining it on Tuesday night, and I used a trash bag in the fridge instead of a 5-gal bucket. When we put the temp probe in originally, it apparently was hitting a bone, because the turkey hit 161 WAY too fast (freaking me out because it seriously threw off my time line for cooking), and when I moved the probe the temperature fell ~60 degrees. When the probe finally did hit 161, we couldn’t decide whether or not the bird was actually done, because when we moved the probe it still fell short of 161. However, the pop-up timer (included on the bird) was out, and when we cut into the breast it looked good. B found a few spots deep in the bird that were undercooked (which actually bugs me and makes me feel like a cooking failure far more than it should) but on the whole it came out AMAZINGLY. It was very, very moist, and VERY flavorful. :D

The rest of the food was great, too. Since the stuffing wasn’t cooked in the bird like we usually do, we had to add a lot of stock to moisten it, but it was yummy. My sister’s pie and salad were fantastic, as was the gravy, beans, potatoes… and there were tons of leftovers for everyone.

Katie and Riley played together a lot, and well; they are so generally good with each other that they remind me of siblings. :) Since Riley had been sick last night, she was not into food very much, and Katie skipped her last nap so she was a bit grumpy during dinner and didn’t really want to eat either. Both of them were dressed for the holiday, with Riley in a fancy skirt and shirt and Katie wearing a zebra-print dress (very mod indeed).

The best part for me, besides being with and enjoying time with my family, was how I felt in this house — incredibly at home. It is so comfortable here, in a way that I haven’t felt since even Wisconsin; I’m proud of our home, and how good it feels to be here and to share this space with people we care about. That was incredibly gratifying for me.

Thanksgiving, indeed.

Also, holy crap, this kitchen is fantastic to cook in, and THANK GOODNESS for a dishwasher! I wouldn’t imagine cooking this huge of a meal and serving it on china w/o one — no, I think I’d be using bamboo plates at that point!